Turkish Airlines and its cargo subsidiary have placed a travel embargo on the protected African Grey Parrot after an investigation accused the airline of enabling the species’ illegal transportation.

The investigation conducted by World Animal Protection, an international non-profit animal welfare organisation, accused Turkish Airlines and Cargo of a “failure to properly check its cargo”, which made it the airline of choice for illegally transporting the highly protected species.

World Animal Protection said poor staff training had resulted in the death of at least 60 African Grey Parrots during an illegal shipping in August 2018, and 170 in January 2018.


Image: Hannah Dickens/Unsplash

The discoveries were made despite Turkish Airlines’ public pledge to zero tolerance of illegal wildlife trading in 2017. Click here to read the full investigation report.

Turkish Airlines has since responded to the investigation, advising World Animal Protection that it has issued a global embargo to stop transporting African Grey Parrots on any of their planes.


The organisation described the move as an “encouraging start” and said it was “pleased” to see such a swift response.

“It’s a positive result for African grey parrots, but we must keep pressing forward to find solutions to address the illegal trafficking that our investigations uncovered.”

World Protection Organisation


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